Painting your home, especially if you’re selling it, is one of the best ways to add value.
According to a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of over 300 real estate professionals, selectively painting key rooms like the kitchen and bathroom can fetch 1-3% more on your home sale, while enhancing the exterior (including paint touch-ups) can add 2-5%.
Aside from adding value, a new paint job freshens the outside and inside of the home, and makes the space feel clean, inviting, and like new. Fresh paint also fares better in listing photos and will hide any old imperfections.
If you settle for a cheap estimate with a non-legitimate painting company, you risk ruined personal property, a lost investment, endless frustration, and more. You need painters who will do a top quality job and provide a high level of customer service. Here’s how to find house painters who will turn your old, faded house into a jaw-dropping masterpiece.
I Need Amazing House Painters. Where Do I Start?
The devil’s in the details, and bad painters could leave old, poisonous paint everywhere for your puppy or children to come across. They could do a sloppy job, get paint on your personal belongings, show up late or ghost the job altogether. The key is to find vetted house painters who are popular among people and professionals you trust.
He shared, “I found my painter probably 10, 12 years ago now from a client who had had their house painted and was very happy with them … I tried them out on one, and then two, and then three [jobs] and now he does quite a bit of work for us.”
Your agent will have vetted the painters over years and years and many houses, and will make sure that whoever you hire is committed to a level of professionalism and perfectionism on par with their own stellar services. Your first step to finding great house painters is to chat with a real estate agent, especially if you recently purchased the house or are getting ready to sell it.
If your home purchase happened long ago and selling is in the distant future, there are a few other ways to find a reliable company to paint your home.
1. Hunt Down a Good House Painter Referral
First, try and get a referral from someone you know and trust. Bug friends and family for the names of painters they’ve used and loved.
This is your best bet to get a great painter, as you can go and inspect the work in person and chat with your friend or family member about the quality of the job and level of service.
2. Harness the Power of the Internet
If you absolutely can’t find a good recommendation from anyone you know, the following are excellent resources for finding trusted professionals:
- Houzz, which dishes up over 1.5 million qualified home professionals and customizes your search for house painters to tailor to your needs and location
- Angie’s List, an expert source of verified reviews and ratings in hundreds of categories
- Yelp, a top review site dedicated to presenting unbiased reviews
- Nextdoor, a private social network where you can get candid reviews from your neighbors
Pick house painters from Houzz
Home improvement and design website Houzz will walk you through finding a house painter in your area that meets your specific needs.
The platform will prompt you to enter:
- The type of project you’re looking to complete (interior or exterior, cabinets or deck)
- Which rooms you want to paint (and how many rooms total)
- Whether your home is furnished and occupied
- Which surfaces you’re painting
- Your property type
- The current status of the project
- When you want to start the project
- Your budget
- A brief description of your project
After that, Houzz gives you the option to share your project information with 5 local professionals to request quotes.
Search for house painters on Yelp
Finding house painters on Yelp is as easy as specifying your location and typing in “house painters” into the Yelp search bar and then sifting through the results. You can also narrow your search by making your keyword more specific, like “house painters exterior.”
Some good rules of thumb for parsing online reviews:
- A few negative reviews shouldn’t be a deal breaker. It’s normal for a company to have one or two less-than-perfect reviews—it probably means that they’re not posting fake reviews or spending all their time on reputation management (perhaps they’re out there painting houses instead!) But if most of the reviews lean negative and also seem legitimate, steer clear.
- Give more weight to the reviews if the company has a lot of them. The larger the sample size, the smaller the margin of error. More reviews means you’re getting a more accurate gauge of a company.
- Look for anecdotes and photos. The most dedicated reviewers won’t just say “Joe the house painter did an amazing job!” but explain why and even provide pictures as proof. That kind of review is worth its weight in gold. Take this example below:
Find house painters on Angie’s List
On Angie’s list, you can look at directories of top home professionals in your area. To do so, you have to create a free account, and enter your information (including your address).
You can also go through the steps to get matched with three top-rated house painters in your area. Angie’s List will ask for:
- Your location
- The number rooms or areas painted
- Whether your home is occupied/furnished
- Which rooms you want to paint
- The surfaces you want to paint (walls/ceilings)
- Status of the project
- Your timing
- If you’re painting a residential home
- If you’re painting a historical structure
- If you’re interested in financing
- A section explaining the project
- Your address
Ask about good house painters on Nextdoor
On Nextdoor you can post a request for a house painter referral that will be shared with all of the members of Nextdoor in your immediate neighborhood. Similar to a Facebook thread, neighbors with suggestions will be able to respond to your call out in the comments below.
If you’re not already on Nextdoor, you’ll need to join your neighborhood and create a free account.
3. Do a walk around
If you still can’t find house painters you’re happy to hire, walk around your neighborhood to see if any homes near you are getting an exterior refresh. If you like the job, jot down the number of the company (it should be posted somewhere) or ask one of the painters for a card. Then, you’ll go online and research the company and make sure it’s a good fit.
Get an Estimate On The Paint Job
Once you have a great referral (preferably from your real estate agent), you’ll want to get an estimate for your property. Your home has a different floor plan, square footage, and design elements from any other house, so the estimate will be specific to you.
According to Home Advisor, the average national cost to paint a home exterior is $2,780. The average range is $1,687 to $3,905. The square footage of your home and number of stories are the best way to predict how much a paint job will cost for you. Home Advisor quotes single story homes 500 – 1,500 square feet at $1,000 – $3,000, two story homes $1,500 – $3,000 square feet at $3,000 – $4,500, and three story houses 3,000 to 6,000 square feet at $4,500 – $6,000+.
Home Advisor estimates the national average price for an interior paint job to be $1,747 with a range from $973 – $2,721. Of course, if you only need a few rooms painted, it will cost less than doing the whole house. Home Advisor quotes the cost for a 10 x 12 room to be anywhere from $380 – $790 plus the cost of paint, any trim work, and the cost to paint the ceiling.
Per hour, the rate should fall between $48 – $71.
To get a quote, chat with the house painters you’re considering. They may want to do a walkthrough of your home, see photos of the interior/exterior, and get square footage information.
Check References and Interview House Painting Companies
How to search for companies on the Better Business Bureau
The first thing you should do once you have a referral is search for the company on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB makes sure that businesses are trustworthy, legitimate, and uphold a great level of customer satisfaction.
People can file complaints against companies on the BBB’s website and give the company a rating and review. You’ll also see a grade for the company that’s based on 13 different factors. Above that rating the site, you’ll be able to see if the company is BBB accredited or not.
You should always check the BBB, even if a company has 5 stars on a site like Yelp. The BBB rates different factors than consumers do, and if you don’t check BBB first, you could end up with a company that’s top rated on Yelp but that gets a bad rap on BBB.
What to look for on the BBB:
- The BBB grade should be A+
- The company should be BBB accredited
- If there are any customer reviews, all should be 5 stars
- Make sure there are no complaints filed against the company
House Painter Interview Questions to Ask Your Agent/Past Clients
Klaus gave us the low-down on exactly what you should expect from the house painters you decide to work with. He shared,
“I judge my vendors and painters specifically on how they handle the challenges, not necessarily the good times, meaning, if they make a mistake or something happens. I think there’s value in a. how they present themselves … and then, how do they handle the client experience … how do they finish the job, and did they show up when they were supposed to? Did they do the job within the time frame they said? It’s just about meeting expectations. Did they set the expectation and then did they meet it.”
When you chat with your agent, past clients of the painters, or friends/family, these are all key things to ask about. You should also ask if the painters were respectful of the client’s time, belongings, and space, friendly, attentive to detail and precise.
Here’s a short list of questions to ask:
- Did the painters consistently show up on time?
- Did they stick to the time frame they quoted you?
- Did they exceed your expectations in terms of quality of work, diligence, commitment to the project, and the overall experience?
- What was their prep process like? Did they cover your landscaping/cars/outdoor furniture, etc. before painting? Or your couches, carpet, etc. for an interior job? Did they properly tape to ensure few mistakes and precise lines?
- How did they clean up the job? Did they leave any old paint chips scattered around your property? How did they dispose of excess paint? Did any of it end up in your drains?
- Were they tidy? Did they do a thorough clean up at the end of every day?
- Did they put back your personal belongings exactly where they found them?
- Were they respectful of your outdoor landscaping and indoor belongings?
- Were they friendly, accommodating, and respectful to you?
- Did they give you the opportunity to walk around the house and check their work? Did they fix anything you did not like?
- Were they meticulous? Did they pay attention to detail?
- Did they understand the different types of paint and offer advice on which to use?
You should ask your agent, past clients, or the painters themselves to see photos of past jobs so that you can evaluate the quality of work for yourself. Online reviews will also often post photos of the finished job.
If you’re searching online, use these questions when vetting reviews. If you see a negative review, try and get to the bottom of the problem and decide if it’s a non-negotiable mistake for you.
Make Sure the Painters are Licensed
Painter licensing varies state by state. Luckily, you can find a complete list of the licensing requirements for every state from Angie’s List. Take a look at the requirements for your state. This will give you a solid idea of everything the company has had to comply with to get its license.
To find out if the company you’re interested in is licensed, ask for its license number or find it on their website.
Your state also may have a government site where you can put in the license number to make sure it is in good standing.
Evaluate the Quality of Work Before You Give the Green Light
As you interview potential house painters, you’ll want to evaluate their quality of work before you decide to go with them.
- Ask for addresses of homes that the painting company has done (exteriors only), and do a drive by to look at the homes in person
- Ask for a lookbook of homes in your area that gives detailed views of interior shots
- Scour reviews for photos
- Ask your real estate agent to see listing photos of homes painted by contractors they trust
Obtain a Contract and Ask for a Guarantee
Yes, you need a formal contract in place when you hire the right painters for the job. The contract protects both of you and ensures you get exactly what you paid for.
Your contract needs to include:
- the cost of the job
- the type of paint that will be used (even down to the shade, so there aren’t any surprises later)
- how long the job will take in total
- a supplies list
The supplies list should specify the exact number of brushes, drop cloths, gallons of paint needed, scaffolding, and any cleaning materials (like a pressure washer).
Your contract also needs to lay out exactly what prep work the painting team plans to do. This includes drop cloths, taping, power washing, priming, and sanding down surfaces prior to painting.
You should also include expected clean-up procedures. The painters need to cover everything with drop cloths so that they do not get paint anywhere but on, well, your house. Outline what will happen if the painters make a mistake and wet paint or old paint chips end up anywhere they shouldn’t. You should also include how you want the painters to dispose of their materials.
This might sound like overkill, but the contract also needs to specify how the painters will paint your home. Will they spray it down, or use paint brushes and rollers?
Last of all, make sure the contract specifies some sort of guarantee. If anything goes wrong with the paint job within a certain amount of time, the painters should come and fix it for free.
Have photos of your freshly painted house? Share them with us!
Information in this blog post is meant to be used as a helpful guide, not legal advice. If you need legal help with a contract, please consult a skilled lawyer.